An automatic and effective parameter optimization method for model tuning
Abstract. Physical parameterizations in general circulation models (GCMs), having various uncertain parameters, greatly impact model performance and model climate sensitivity. Traditional manual and empirical tuning of these parameters is time-consuming and ineffective. In this study, a "three-step" methodology is proposed to automatically and effectively obtain the optimum combination of some key parameters in cloud and convective parameterizations according to a comprehensive objective evaluation metrics. Different from the traditional optimization methods, two extra steps, one determining the model's sensitivity to the parameters and the other choosing the optimum initial value for those sensitive parameters, are introduced before the downhill simplex method. This new method reduces the number of parameters to be tuned and accelerates the convergence of the downhill simplex method. Atmospheric GCM simulation results show that the optimum combination of these parameters determined using this method is able to improve the model's overall performance by 9 %. The proposed methodology and software framework can be easily applied to other GCMs to speed up the model development process, especially regarding unavoidable comprehensive parameter tuning during the model development stage.